Unlike short sightedness (which only affects distance vision) and long sightedness (which mainly affects close-up vision), astigmatism affects both distance and close vision. So if you notice objects at all distances seem blurry, this may be the reason.
To understand the condition, it first helps to understand how the eye works.
It is a refractive error caused by an imperfection in the eye – usually in the cornea (the clear front ‘window’ of the eye), but sometimes in the lens. The imperfection changes the way your eye focuses the light rays that pass into it. This can happen when:
- The cornea is an oval ‘rugby ball’ shape rather than a round soccer ball shape
- The lens is an oval ‘rugby ball shape’, rather than a round ‘soccer ball shape’
When either of these imperfections occur, it means the light that enters your eye doesn't have a single point focus. This makes objects at all distances look blurry.
Compare the two images below:
Refractive errors like astigmatism were traditionally corrected with glasses and contacts. In the case of astigmatism, and particularly severe astigmatism, there used to be no other option, as laser eye surgery was generally unsuitable.
However, thanks to the advanced laser eye surgery now available many people affected can now enjoy permanent vision correction and freedom from the hassles of glasses and contacts.
At Eye Institute we offer LASIK as a treatment. It’s the safest and most advanced laser eye surgery available in New Zealand.